James Buchanan was an unremarkable president, presiding over a deteriorating union, as the nation was riven with arguments that eventually became a war. In 1867, years after he left the Oval Office, unremarkable Buchanan remarked that the United States Senate was “the greatest deliberative body in the world.” It may have been his most famous statement, and for a while was true.
The so-called Upper House has generally been led by men who at least feigned dignity. Since the major political parties began designated a Senate Majority Leader in 1913, there have been some impressive legislators presiding over the most exclusive club in the world.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Lyndon Johnson, Alben Barkley, Robert A. Taft, Everett Dirksen, Mike Mansfield, Hugh Scott and others come to mind. We might not have always liked their politics, but, for the most part, they led the Senate with poise and grace. Oh, how far we have fallen.
Until next January, the current Burgermeister of the Senate is Harry Reid. If the American people awake from their electoral stupor, it is expected that Monsieur Reid will be expelled from the Majority Leader’s office and some degree of nobility and prestige will return to that position. Until then, we are saddled with a Senate controlled by this complete embarrassment.
Under Reid’s leadership, the upper chamber has become a non-functioning body. Instead of carrying out the duties of his office, Reid devotes much of his time and attention to his personal mania, demonizing the brothers Koch. David and Charles Koch, like almost 500 of their fellow citizens, are billionaires. This is an almost unpardonable sin in the eyes of Harry Reid.
Since the contemporary Democratic Party has built their castle on the unstable and unsavory sands of class envy, a billionaire is the worst iteration of human possible – unless, of course, that billionaire is funding the Democrats or their crack-pot ideas.
One never hears Reid criticize billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, for example. The Kochs are lower than pond bacteria in the warped mind of Senator Reid because they have the temerity to use their hard-earned wealth to drive American policy in a direction that they support – and this direction is the opposite of what Reid and his coalition desire.
Liberal billionaire Steyer recently announced he will be putting millions of his hard-earned dollars to work defeating Congressmen – the very thing that irks Reid and company about the Kochs – but Steyer is doing so from the left. So hyper-hypocrite Reid is never critical of Steyer. This is who is running our Senate.
Reid has decided to his legacy is to vilify the Koch brothers. It’s not clear that they have even noticed, though that has not slowed Dirty Harry’s assaults.
This week, the Tea Party Patriots filed an ethics complaint against Reid because he is abusing the rules of the Senate to carry on his personal vendetta against the Kochs. Reid’s response? A complete assault on the Tea Party Patriots. There’s no surprise here, since Reid loathes all things Tea Party.
There is a Secret War happening right now… The target? Your privacy!
To disqualify and stifle the Tea Party Patriots’ complaint, Reid resorts to the same ad hominem attacks he uses against all his opponents. In this case, his spokesman Adam Jentleson, tries to nullify the criticism by pointing out the Koch brothers fund the tea party, as if this is somehow a conflict of interest.
What is astonishing is the level of discourse. The Senate Majority Leader is personally attacking American citizens who only wish to participate in the democratic process, and when this is criticized, he bleats that no one who gets money from such citizens has a right to complain. Can one even imagine a true legislative leader acting in this manner? This is what we should expect from a pre-schooler, not a leader.
The Tea Party Patriots’ complaint against Reid is to the United States Senate. I hope they filed this complaint without expectation of action, because there are few things more ignored than Senate ethics complaints. I know this personally, since, during the scandal that bore my name in 2004, I was treated to an abuse of the Senate ethics rules as well, only this time by a Republican – at least a Republican in Name Only – John McCain.
McCain subpoenaed thousands of my emails, and then proceeded to leak them to the Washington Post and his other allies in the liberal media. When his lead investigator pompously admitted that they were, in fact, transmitting to the press materials that they had obtained using the official subpoena power, we had enough and filed an ethics complaint with the Senate, with the full expectation that the world’s greatest deliberative body would at least uphold its own rules. What were we thinking?
Not only did the Senate Ethics Committee not censure Senator McCain, they refused to acknowledge that we had even complained! It was my first, but not last lesson in how worthless the ethics process in the United States Senate is.
My second lesson came when I was dragged before a Senate committee for a show trial. As we entered the hearing room, packed to the rafters with media and spectators, my attorney and I knew we were heading into the lion’s den.
The first order of business, after I was sworn-in, was my attorney reminding the Senators – including McCain, of course – that their own Senate rules provided for a closed hearing, if the witness was in danger of having his reputation harmed or being incarcerated as a consequence of the testimony.
When my attorney finished his remarks, the Senators brushed them aside by stating that they had “considered his comments,” and they then proceeded to skewer me. So much for the upper chamber. More like an upper colonoscopy for me that day!
I hope the Tea Party Patriots are able to get justice from the Senate ethics process, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were them. Even in his response to the ethics complaint, Harry Reid is disdainful. Does anyone think there is the slightest chance he will recant his obscene attacks on the Koch brothers and permit a legitimate investigation as to whether he broke Senate rules?
Hopefully, the Harry Reid Show will come to an end after the election this November. I think we’ve had enough.